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bluemukaki's avatar

Is it rude to wish non-christian people Happy Easter?

Asked by bluemukaki (4318 points ) March 22nd, 2008

I’ve got a website which has a feature a bit like Fluther’s where every time you log in, a random welcome is shown in the form of “Welcome, username” or “Bond, Username Bond” etc. Would it be rude to non-christians if I changed it to “Happy Easter, username”?

What Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and other religious or national holidays should I mention in order to be fair to all my users?

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31 Answers

Riser's avatar

Easter is more Pagan than Christian today. You have nothing to worry about.

trainerboy's avatar

No. If someone wishes me a Happy Hanukkah, it is fine with me. I believe we look for too many reasons to be offended. If someone gets heartburn over being wished a Happy Easter, there is probalby more going on under the surface than that!

Michael's avatar

While I don’t disagree with trainerboy’s general answer, I will simply point out that his answer comes from someone belonging to the religious majority. It’s easy for those in the majority (whether it be religious, ethnic, racial, etc) to say that minorities get offended too often.

That being said, I am a religious minority and I don’t mind at all when people wish me Happy Easter/Merry Christmas or anything else. I recognize that I live in a country in which I don’t share most people’s religious holidays, and I don’t think its much of a big deal that others assume I do.

trainerboy's avatar

Michael, What does my affiliation have to do with my opinion? Does that make it less valid?
Everybodys opinion is influenced by something, as is yours but that does not make it less valid. That is my opinion anyway.

jrpowell's avatar

I wouldn’t be bothered by it as an agnostic. But I don’t understand why you would even bother doing it on your website. I just really don’t see what you have to gain and you do run the risk of offending some people.

flipper's avatar

Happy Festivus everyone!!!

Besafe's avatar

Happy Easter to all.

This whole idea of being politicaly correct (avoid saying what we use to ne free to say) has in my opinion gotten out of the range of what is reasonable.

eambos's avatar

Most religious holidays no longer have much meaning. Even Easter has become near secular and just another excuse for stores to sell you things. So, no I do not think it is offending to wish a non Christian a happy Easter.

Michael's avatar

trainerboy, you are, of course, entitled to your opinion. I was merely pointing out that, very often, people in the majority tend to delegitimize feelings of marginalization among those in the minority. Its a phenomenon that comes up even in small groups of people that are divided by things far less material than religion and race.

trainerboy's avatar

Just as you “delegitimized” my answer by casting me in a category.
But I appreciate that you give me permission to have an opinion.

Michael's avatar

Whoa.. Ok. Sorry to have offended. Funny though that you were the one saying that people are a little too quick to find offense. I guess there’s just, “more going on under the surface” with you.

trainerboy's avatar

Michael, I didn’t say I was offended. I was pointing out how you do exactly what you were claiming others do.

flipper's avatar

Michael,
Maybe you ought to look in the mirror rather than pointing the finger elsewhere. It does seem to me that you deligitimize opinions based on what you assume about someone else.
I have no clue if trainerboy is part of the majority. He never mentioned that at all.

glial's avatar

Happy Easter!

Spargett's avatar

My Easter has nothing to do with Christ.

TheHaight's avatar

I agree with trainerboys first post.

srmorgan's avatar

Being wished Happy *** or Merry *** at different times of the year even though these are not “your” holidays: happens all the time and you get used to it.

The difficult part is whether to interject and say “we don’t celebrate Easter in my home” and get into an explanation that you are Jewish, or to simply say “thank you, same to you”.
Living in the Southeast, not a hotbed of Judaism, I just acknowledge the sentiment for what it is, good-natured, and go on from there.
But I find that I don’t initiate these greetings by wishing strangers or neighbors a Happy Easter but I will say it to my co-workers, all of whom know my background, simply to be collegial and to respect their beliefs
A few months ago, in mid-to-late December, many people at my company would come up to me and wish me a Happy Hanukkah and then ask me politely when it was going to begin and of course Hanukkah began last year on the 5th of December and I would inform them that they were at least a week late. A typical response was “why was it so early this year?” and the best rejoinder was that it was not late this year, it began on the 25th of Kislev as it does every year and I wanted to know why Christmas was so late this year.
The typical reaction was a quizzical look and eventual realization that it was a matter of perspective, depending on which calendar you used.

jonno's avatar

No, I observe Easter and Christmas even though I’m not Chrisitian anyway. Sure, the celebration might have its origins in a religion, but in most Western countries it is now part of tradition, especially as it is a public holiday.

I would, instead of appealing to certain religions, appeal to the countries. If most of your users are from English-speaking countries (US, UK, Ire, Aus, Can, NZ) then the majority/mainstream religion is Christianity, so only Christian greetings are necessary. This is the audience you are catering to, so if someone was say, a Canadian Muslim, they should not be offended because they should recognise that they are in a minority.

flipper's avatar

What is rude anyway? It is different for eveyone. If we want to walk on eggshells, then say nothing at all.

Vincentt's avatar

It might be rude to those that do not get a day off during Easter ;-)

flipper's avatar

But rude itself is relative. In other words, we each make it up based on our life experiences.

cwilbur's avatar

I don’t think it’s any ruder than wishing people a Happy Saturday. But if there are people in the audience who will be offended, and you don’t want to offend them, it’s probably best avoided. (There are two very important if clauses there.)

flipper's avatar

then we shouldn’t answer any questions either because someone is bound to choose to be offended somewhere.

cwilbur's avatar

@flipper: note the second clause. When I answer a question reasonably, if someone takes offense, it’s not my problem.

flipper's avatar

Ummmm….ok?
I actually thought I was agreeing with you in a way.

danzig's avatar

Only if you hand them a bible while doing so. I am an atheist and someone wishing me a happy Easter is no different than wishing me a happy Wednesday.

Jack79's avatar

Wasn’t Wednesday named after a pagan godess?

Actually I lived in a place once where the muslim minority not only wished Christians (and each other) “Happy Easter”, but even participated in the celebrations, and even went to church.

When I moved to where I am now, I was wished something like “happy cemetary visiting day” which to me made no sense, since I certainly don’t know anyone buried here, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be visiting them on a day when you can’t park the car anywhere near a cemetery.
When, 2 days later, I told someone I actually didn’t go to the cemetery that day, she was shocked and assumed I must be an atheist.

I think that minorities just learn to accept “norms”. It’s called adjusting.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

No. I think if you are Xtian, you should be Xtian and not worry about the politically correct thing to do. Besides, Easter, in its origin was a Pagan holiday and the whole thing about Christ rising again- a whole rip off of ancient Egyptian religion. It is all the same, just different names.

Greatly simplified, but yeah.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

@Jack79 Yes, according to true Muslim religion, it is their duty to protect those ‘of the Book’ within their borders and be accepting of them. I find them to be more tolerant than most Xtians I know.

All of my family, except me is Xtian. I still go to Easter dinner and occasionally will attend services with them (of course this makes most of them salivate with joy, thinking I am renouncing my heathen Pagan ways, but to each his own).

zen_'s avatar

The OP asked: Is it rude to wish non-christian people Happy Easter?

I used to dis-like being wished a happy Christian and other holiday, but then realized somethings: a) It’s their holiday and they are wishing me something nice b) not everyone can guess my religion and c) I’d rather be wished a Merry Christmas than ignored.

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